April 29, 1923 – June 23, 2022
Scott Leroy Defebaugh, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend to all passed away peacefully in the early hours of June 23, 2022. Scott was born at home in Iola, Kansas on April 29, 1923 to Dee Pearl (Scott) and George Allen Defebaugh.
Scott was raised in what came to be called “The Greatest Generation.” He learned that if you wanted something you had to work for it. He began at age 12 by working in a local bakery after school and on Saturdays. When he was in junior high his family moved to Chanute, Kansas. It was there that he began Scotty’s Distributing Agency, delivering merchant’s sales flyers to homes after school. His slogan was “The Best in the West-by Test.” There might have been a small job distributing “hooch” during the prohibition.
Scott was 18 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the following year he was sworn in to the U.S. Army. He served stateside as an Army medic before being issued orders to serve at a Field General Hospital (MASH) on the Salisbury Plains of England. Scott often told the story of how he was walking back to base after a dance one evening. As he was passing by Stonehenge, the greatest air armada of all time flew overhead. It was the night of D-Day. When the war ended, he was discharged in February of 1946 and joined the Army Reserve.
Scott entered Phillips University at Enid, Oklahoma, graduating in June 1950. Shortly after graduation he was called into the Korean War with the 325th Hospital Train Unit. After Korea, Scott served in various medical slots as a reserve officer, eventually reached Lt. Colonel in 1972 and, after 40 years of active and reserve duty, was retired at age 60. He was awarded Milwaukee County Veteran of the Year in 1992.
As a civilian, Scott’s career spanned several non-profit organizations. He was the executive director of the USO of Columbus, Ohio. In 1958 he opened the first office of the American Cancer Society in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Moving to Wisconsin in 1963, he became the executive director of the Easter Seals Society of Milwaukee County, a job which he held for 25 years. Scott really didn’t retire. He served 19 years as a Red Cross volunteer at the Evans Army Community Hospital, Ft. Carson. Scott’s life truly was one dedicated to service. He often repeated Muhammad Ali’s quote, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
In 1989, Scott reconnected with a good friend from college, Dorothy Jane. They were married in 1993, and Scott moved to Colorado Springs. Dot, being Catholic and Scott, a Disciple of Christ, he attended both Village Christian Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church for the past 29 years. He was a beloved member of both congregations.
Scott enjoyed people, volunteer work, high school basketball games, good food, telling stories and jokes, and being with family and friends. He was actively involved in the Dutch Nelson chapter of the Korean War Veterans.
Scott is survived by his daughter, Melissa Defebaugh; son, Scott Defebaugh (Mary); granddaughter, Megan Haas; great-granddaughters, Julia and Alanna. He is also survived by four step children: Brad Schmeets, Debby Hanlen, Missy Cloud and Sandra Frey; grandchildren: Chip, Sarah, Daniel, Alexander, Patrick, Maribeth, Nicholas, Carly, Kelly, Emily and Ben; and 22 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Patricia Eileen; wife, Dorothy Jane; daughter, Bonnie Lee Defebaugh; son, Daniel Allen Defebaugh; brothers: Glen Allen and Vernon Lee Defebaugh.
Services with military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday July 9, 2022 at Village Christian Church, 3113 Primrose Drive, Colorado Springs. A reception will follow at the church. Interment will be on Monday, July 11th, 12 p.m. at Pikes Peak National Cemetery.
Memorials in Scott’s name may be made to Village Christian Church or Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Scott’s family is very grateful for the compassionate care and friendship he received from the staff and residents of the Inn at Garden Plaza over the last few years.
This Obituary Has 5 Condolences
Deborah Hanlen1 Jul 2022
Scott was a beloved member of our family and we will miss his presence. He regaled us with stories of his youth and some of his military service. He exemplified the values of service and caring for others. He was a caring, calm, and helpful man. The world has lost a wonderful soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who mourn his passing.
Anonymous2 Jul 2022
The Buckley SFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for LTC Defebaugh’s 40 years of distinguished service to our country in the Army. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley SFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
Lt Col, USAF, Ret
Director, Buckley SFB RAO
Anonymous4 Jul 2022
Thank you so much, Steve. We really appreciate your kind words.
Anonymous4 Jul 2022
Scott was a comforting presence at the funeral of my son, Aric Russell Schmeets. For the past years we’ve enjoyed his Christmas letters & his humor. He will always be in our hearts. RIP good sir, Heaven is lucky to have you.
Lisa Foster7 Jul 2022
We will miss his humor, optimism and kindness. It was our pleasure to have known him! He and Dot were very dear to us.
Lisa and Charlie Foster